I found a tape, from the BBC, it was recorded in 1976, the year I was born. The tape was a record of common UK birds and wildlife at the time, I found out that a high percentage of the birds are now on endangered lists.
What I felt was strange, I had never got to know them or their calls, not coming from the kind of family that took note of these things, and now maybe never would. The experience I did have of nature was in my grandads garden, cultivated keenly, and shared generously. This film is a composition of cultivation, loss and memory.
Time is wild, hunting around me, touching, passing, rushing, decaying.
Fleeting moments phase me. Phase me in and out of focus, placing me briefly in scenarios and historical scenes, jumping forward to write the future.
Touching the now over, and over, made over again.
The pressed copper ceiling traced lines of shadow into the room, candlewick bedspreads with faded colours, one pink and one coral, feel smooth and warm as summer lingered. On the end of Daisy’s bed was the book that seemed to both fascinate and disturb her recently, it was given by a man in suit that came to the door promising some kind of liberation, right now she cried. Her censure of the young girls possible future life was definite, a warning of non repetition to be heeded lest she suffer the same inescapable issues. The girl was sad that her grandmother cried but in equal amounts a seed of determination was sown to never cry and never be like Daisy— but only when she was like this. The girl loved her more than anyone and thought she might like to at least be able to sing her child at bedtime and laugh like she did, bringing home the smell of the outside evening air and red Rimmel lipstick after the Bingo, what was so bad?
Daisy left the room to confront her ongoing ordeal of inescapable issues that Dave did “not need to hear about”. The girl traced the embossing on the orange book, her finger moving off onto lines between the wicking on the bedspread while she looked out of the window at Sam sitting in his deckchair out The Front.
To all the birds I never knew, singing there queerly, just out of recognition, a type of experience not encouraged or fulfilled, nature was not their bag. Taking me out to the country to show me the wild… birds were highly cultivated and share no resemblance to my form or function.
The image of your face abstracted onto paper by mechanical reproduction.
This object I use is a taunt, a refuge, an unreal hologram at the edge of the universe.
The more I use you for solace, the further your disappearance into that chemical base which apes your image.
Racing to keep a place that reminds me of times past sucks me in deeper,
compressing the neuro/pathological daily time travel.
The imagination is a deeply consuming place, and yet its hold is delicate and fleeting, a moment of reverie can be easily ended by small external, or indeed internal, forces. A noise, a movement a banal thought, can remove us, only to return at a later time and the moment is lost or changed, never being recaptured in the same way, we have changed since the last visit. This is a phenomena that is attached to the photographic artefact, every time we revisit this place of memory it is different, here is the crux, photographs are not merely representational an aide memoir—they can be mirrors into to the imaginary. We are the mediators and we decide on meanings of place and this is infinite, imaginings have perceived beginnings and the possibility of no end, just a series of visitations that are differing and open ended. The photograph is a revenant.
Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do.
I'm half crazy
All for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage.
But you'll look sweet,
Upon the seat,
Of a bicycle made for two.
Dave opens the porch door and even before he is through I can hear him humming, the inner door opens as he pushes the outer shut, he is home. A cigarette in his hand is placed in the ashtray and he sings. Daisy brings in the dinner, it is burnt but I don’t mind.
In the back of car the footwells are dark in front of me and pools of light sweep across my face every few seconds, I am pretending to be asleep.
Dave was driving but I don’t remember where from, to or why, just that is was quiet, the engine a lullaby and my blue skirt.